Author: Arina Bokas and Rod Rock

5 Ways to Build a Student Agency in the Digital Age

January 18, 2016 by

High School Students Taking Part In Group Discussion

This post originally appeared at Getting Smart on December 7, 2015.

Recent research findings demonstrate a strong link between one’s sense of empowerment, or “seeing oneself as a causal agent in one’s life,” and the level of an individual’s success in life. A developing sense of agency likely serves as a foundation for the acquisition of many essential skills, including grit and resilience, which allow us to overcome the many obstacles that we encounter throughout our lives.

Yet, our youth today may feel that external social forces are controlling their lives much more than their own internal compasses. In the Digital Age, as Howard Gardner and Katie Davis expressed in The App Generation (2013), young people are practicing constant self-protection, self-polishing, and self-tracking online, which is taking away time from quiet reflection and identity construction. In Disconnected (2014), Harvard researcher Carrie James identified such alarming issues in the digital world as invaded privacy and a slipping sense of ownership. (more…)

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